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Soon Google Maps can guess where you’re going and tell you how to get there faster

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I’m sure that if you’ve travelled to work by car for some period of time, you would know most (if not all) of the logical routes to your office. The only reason we switch on navigation apps (like Waze) in the morning is to find out which is the least congested route, but doing so every morning, having to manually set your location each time can be rather cumbersome.

So what if you don’t want to have to set your location each morning but still want to find out which is the least congested/fastest way to get to work on time? Google Maps has the answer.

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With the continuous development of Waze, it has become a fantastic navigation app and I personally use it over Google Maps, less because I feel that it is a better navigation app that Maps (which I don’t) and more because of its nifty, user-friendly features.

Features like knowing where you’re going based on your history — for example, if you leave for work at 9 AM a few days in a row the app will suggest “work” the next time you fire it up at around the same time of day — as well as changing your route on the fly based on the changing traffic.

That said, I do feel that the application updates the routes rather slowly (especially when it comes to congestion) and the navigation isn’t as crisp and informative as Google Maps’. Plus I really hate the way it looks and how slow it is to launch and calculate routes.

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With Google Maps v9.19 though, it seems that there is an alternative to that. With the acquisition of Waze by the search engine giant, Google has slowly integrated more and more of Waze’s features into their own navigation app. Now, along with a whole host of interesting new things, Google Maps has support for Driving Mode — but you’ll have to activate it first.

Driving Mode isn’t what you think it means. It doesn’t convert your phone into a landscape screen that has gigantic buttons for doing simple tasks to like answering your phone calls so you won’t get distracted on the road. Instead, it guesses (based on your history) where you’re going and it gives you live updates on the traffic situation as well as the fastest routes to your destination, without the need for you to set a location beforehand.

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Getting excited about this new feature I installed the APK for v9.19 (non-arm64 version) of Google Maps and tried to launch the feature, only to be met with failure. Then I found out via Android Police that there was some archaic luck-based activation system where you would have to poke around in the app and Navigation settings to hopefully get the option to appear.

However, thanks to the comments section, users have pointed out that signing out and signing into Maps itself will trigger the feature and unlock the additional options. From there, simply hit “Add Driving shortcut” and you can access this awesome new feature.

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Once in you will be greeted with the new interface that shows you multicoloured roads (much like Waze) with different colours indicating different levels of congestion. You can then begin your journey or tap the screen once to bring down the menu and set your destination.

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Besides Driving Mode, the new Maps also brings back the on-screen audio toggle in navigation, which was hidden in the overflow menu during one of the updates to the application some time ago. Google also added a new Timeline settings menu for you to delete your location history within a set range, as well as choose whether or not to show Google Photos on your timeline.

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